As the day wore on, our energy waned none. So pressing on, we saw the iconic silhouette in the distance and thought we could make it there with no problem. Judging by visual distance can a bit of a mistake, but the adventure was on. So we pushed, and what a brilliant decision that was. As we approached from the northwest, we reached the Esplanade du Trocadero of the Palais de Chaillot. After navigating the trinket merchants with scores of Eiffel Tower minis and selfie sticks, I excitedly bellied up to a stand that was making fresh crépes and coffee, which would later prove to be a very crucial and emotional combination for me in leaving France—but I digress. The esplanade was full of life and activity as people the world over had come to funnel down through the Jardin de Trocadero and funnel into the space beneath the enormous steel beauty. But we took our time. I sat and had my Nutella crépe, sipped my tiny coffee (which I would become accustomed too soon enough), and sat quietly taking the entire scene in. At one point, I leaned over to my wife and said softly, "Look at where we are… can you believe this?" I love to observe and I'm easily taken in by seemingly insignificant moments, so this was affecting me greatly, needless to say.
Making my way down the steep ramp and stairs to the fountains and gardens below the esplanade, the scenery took on a new look. As the light continued disappearing behind the horizon, the grand steel latticework began to glow with a light all its own. Again, the scale and magnitude defies proper description. The way I began telling people was, "Do you see this picture? It's not professional… I took that. That's the best way I can tell you how beautiful she was. She made me & my iPhone look like a Nat Geo photographer!" See for yourselves.